Monday, October 29, 2012

My Ancestors Have Rocked You Like a Hurricane

After reading Judy Russell's post The Stormy Past, I was curious to see how many of my ancestors lent their names to hurricanes.  (I only referenced Atlantic storms for this post, and I tried not to include tropical storms).

Fortunately, I haven't found anyone in my tree named Sandy.

However, my great grandmother (Mary Alice Schneider), 2nd great grandmother (Mary Alice Egan), and 3rd great grandmother (Mary Alice McDonnall) all loaned their middle names to hurricane Alice.  First in 1954 and then again in 1955 (although the first one in 1955 turned out to be the last one in 1954 and would have been named Irene if it had been realized sooner).  And yes, these Mary Alices are mothers and daughters.  Lucky me.

Another great grandmother, Anna Christine Huber loaned her name to several hurricanes.  Anna in 1956, 1961, and 1965 (she was only a tropical storm in 1969 and 1976, and the spelling was changed in 1979 to "Ana").  There was also a tropical storm Christine in 1973, but it never reached hurricane status.

My third great grandfather, Gustav Eugene Stiker, gave his name to several hurricanes as well, but his were more recent: 1990, 2002, and 2008.  He was the only major hurricane to form during the 1990 season, and the first hurricane of the season in 2002. 

I could hardly leave out hurricanes Joan (my mom) and Jeanne (her twin sister).  Joan caused "death and destruction over a dozen countries in the Caribbean and Central America" in 1988.  The name has been retired, thankfully.  Jeanne was a moderate hurricane in 1980, but never made landfall.  She peaked as a category 2 hurricane in 1998, and again in 2004 as a category 3.

And last but not least - hurricane Jenny.  Oh yes, there I was in 1961, but barely became a hurricane before being weakened by cold weather, and I tried again in 1969, but never reached hurricane status.

Of course, there are also collateral relatives whose names were used: Bertha, Charley, Hattie, and Josephine.

All told, my ancestors' namesakes caused over 3,400 fatalities and over $15 billion (yes, that's with a B) in damage.  Who did the most damage?  That would be my Aunt Jeanne with 3,035 deaths and $7 billion in damage.  Runner up for fatalities: Joan with 216-334 deaths; runner up for damage: Gustav at $6.61 billion.

So, despite what my mother may have said when I was little, hurricane Jenny didn't hold a candle to her and her sister!

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Sunday, October 21, 2012

SNGF: Genealogy Posters

I'm a little late out of the blocks on this one.  I blame my brother, who is moving this weekend from Gainesville (Georgia) to Nashville, and finally got to my house - which is halfway - around 9 p.m.  Of course I had to take him to one of my favorite watering holes.

Aaaaanyway, over at Genea-Musings, Randy has placed before us another challenge:

1) Go to the website and choose one or more poster pictures.

2) Channel your inner genealogist and create one or more posters with a genealogy oriented saying on it. Be creative!! Be brave! Make it funny, or happy, or sad. 

So ... without further ado ... here's mine!

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

I'm Two!

I can't believe it's been two years.  Seriously.  I still feel like I'm finding my blogging-legs here.  

I've come a long way in two years ... as of today, I have 95 followers on my blog page plus 138 RSS subscribers.  Of course, I don't know if any of those are duplicates, and I can't confirm that they all actually read my blog, but I'll take what I can get.

I am thankful to all of you who have taken the time to comment on my posts, offered support and criticism where necessary, and even given me a good, hearty chuckle every now and then.  

I am also thankful for the friends I've made because of my blog - those of you that I have met in person and those of you I only know virtually (which in my brain pretty much melds all into one category because I can't tell from one day to the next who is real and who isn't anymore).  

It makes it all worthwhile, and I'm looking forward to making even more friends (both real and virtual ... virtureal?) over the next year(s).


Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Some Genealogical Kindness, a Bit of Thievery, and a Baby Giraffe

I know, the blog has been quiet for the past week.  In addition to that pesky day job, I've been pretty busy cleaning up after the break-in and trying to keep up with the lessons for my NGS Home Study Course.

An Update
So far I've submitted my first two lessons and I'm working on my third.  I figure if I average about 3 weeks per lesson, I'll be finished within a year.  I'm not resting on my laurels though -- I just know that the further into the lessons I get, the harder they will be and the longer they will take.

Some Genealogical Kindness
In the mail this week, I received a copy of my great grandparents' marriage license/certificate and a copy of their marriage application from the Posey County Clerk's Office.  I was fortunate enough to meet Connie, one of the genealogists on-staff at the Clerk's Office, while I was in Birmingham for the FGS conference in August.  She has gone above and beyond the call of duty trying to get information for me about my Crowe family.  I can't wait until next year when I stop in Evansville/Mt. Vernon to visit Connie on my way to Ft. Wayne!

A Bit of Thievery
I totally stole this idea for an Ancestor Blogging Jar from Marion at A Couple of Whiles.  I plan to use this when I can't seem to think of anything for the blog.  If nothing else, it will help me get to know my ancestors.
Baby Giraffe
Incidentally, (thanks to my cousin) I've also become obsessed with watching the impending delivery of a baby giraffe - the offspring of Autumn and Walter, two Masai giraffes - at the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina.  I started watching her on Thursday night, and she still hasn't had that baby.  You'd think after 15 months, she would just get it over with.  I have discovered a lot of information that I never knew about giraffes though, so at least I'm learning something, right?

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, October 05, 2012

There's a Lesson in Here Somewhere ...

I have never been so glad for a week to be over in my life.

It started out well enough ... I was getting stuff done at home and at work, and even managing to get a little research done while working on my Home Study Course lessons.

Then Wednesday.

I got a call at work from my daughter at about 4:45 p.m.  She was in tears.  She said I needed to come home right away because someone broke into our house.


So 3 hours and about a half pack of cigarettes later, the police left (after getting fingerprint dust all over the place) and we started the cleanup.  Broken glass, furniture in disarray ... even my mattress was strewn across my room.

You know what surprised me?  I wasn't worried about my research.  I back up my hard drive to Dropbox every month (thanks to Thomas MacEntee's thoughtful reminders), and back up my tree to Dropbox every time I change anything (because RootsMagic gives you that option).

Yes, as I was driving home ... after I convinced myself that my cats were faster than any burglars and were probably hiding somewhere and perfectly fine (they were) ... I was worried that the thieves stole my desktop PC (they didn't) and my laptop (they didn't) and my iPad (they didn't).  Needless to say, these were not very smart thieves.  But not because of any data that would be lost.  

So - everyone preaches about backing up your stuff because you never know when your computer will have a meltdown, but you also never know when your house will be burglarized either.  So chalk that up to another very good reason to do it.

So now, instead of having to replace my computers, I get to go shopping for alarm systems for my house.  And a big dog.  And maybe definitely a gun.

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, October 01, 2012

Motivation Monday - 3rd Quarter Goal Update

Funny how the later in the year it gets, the less frequent these updates become ...

So I completely skipped July and August's updates.  So I guess we're doing this quarterly now.

Here we go:

1. Obtain the addresses, birth dates, and anniversary dates for all of my first cousins on both sides of my family … and names and birth dates of spouses and children. Oh and all my half siblings’ spouses and kids too.
Yep, still working on this one, but making progress. I have a lot of cousins.

2. Attend at least five (5) Scanfests (or equivalent) this year - and actually scan stuff.
I attended April, July, and now September.  My real intent behind this goal was to get all of my photos scanned (see goal #3), and since I completed that goal, I'm using Scanfest time to transcribe my scanned documents.

3. Scan and label at least 15 photos and/or negatives each week, or until they are done, whichever happens first.
This goal is complete.

4. Attend at least two (2) genealogy conferences.
I attended FGS in Birmingham in August, and I'll be registering this week for the Family History Expo in Atlanta in November.

5. Give at least two (2) presentations to my genealogical society.
Still trying to decide on my second topic, but it looks like I will be presenting in November.  Incidentally, I'll have my first article published in our society quarterly next month though ... does that count?

6. Index at least 200 records per month at FamilySearch Indexing.
Overall, I think I have indexed about 2,300 records this year so far.  That's an average of about 250/month - not too shabby.

7. Add at least five (5) individual ancestor stories to my website.
Still only 3 new ones added.  Guess I better get to work on this.

8. Blog at least twice per week.
31 total for July, August, and September, for an average of around 2.3 posts per week.  Acceptable. :) 

9. Finish reading Greenwood's "The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy."
No book club for August (conflicted with FGS), and no one presented in September.  We're still on Chapter 23, scheduled for October meeting.

10. Add at least three (3) website links per week to my online toolbox.
I've actually been doing pretty well at keeping this folder cleaned out. I've added several new websites to my toolbox.

Overall, not as bad as I thought it would be.  I really need to finish the last few chapters in The Researcher's Guide and get more ancestor bios on my website.  I've started a couple of new projects in the past few months and have allowed some of my other goals to fall to the wayside a bit.  I suppose if I forego laundry and dishes, and maybe only shower on Wednesdays, I will have time to finish it all before the end of the year.

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com